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UEFA Champions League

  • November 21, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Estádio Do Dragão, Porto
  • Referee: P. Tagliavento
  • • Attendance: 27603
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Porto - Dinamo Zagreb Preview: Hosts look to seal 150th European win

Porto - Dinamo Zagreb Preview: Hosts look to seal 150th European win

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The visitors are yet to secure a point in Group A and take a depleted squad to Estadio do Dragao, where they will face a Portistas side which is yet to lose this season

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

PORTO

Helton
Danilo, Otamendi, Mangala, Alex Sandro
Moutinho, Defour
, Lucho
Varela, Martinez, Rodriguez

DINAMO ZAGREB

Kelava
Vrsaljko, Simunic, Tonel, Ibanez
Carrasco, Calello, Brozovic, Pivaric
Sammir
Cop

This penultimate group stage encounter will be the last opportunity for Porto to strut their stuff on home soil in continental competition before the knockout stages start in 2013.

Portistas have already guaranteed their spot in the last 16 thanks to three wins and a draw in their four matches, but expect Estadio do Dragao to be buzzing with anticipation regardless of their European security.

The 2004 Champions League victors remain without Emidio Rafael, though the defender has finally returned to light training after nearly two years out injured with a fractured ankle.

Porto remain without any other recognised absentees, although Vitor Pereira may choose to rest the likes of Joao Moutinho and Jackson Martinez should he feel like giving others a chance to shine with qualification ensured.

Dinamo Zagreb sit bottom of Group A on zero points and have failed to score in this season's competition as yet.

Domagoj Vida (toe) has played all 900 minutes of Dinamo’s continental campaign, but he is a doubt after missing training on Sunday.

Others that could miss the clash due to injury include Alen Halilovic (calf), Arijan Ademi (ankle) and Mateo Kovacic (tendon). Striker Ante Rukavina has been ruled out of the trip due to a bout of flu.

It is not just dignity that the visitors will be fighting for on Wednesday night - a victory would propel Dinamo back in with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League, should Dynamo Kiev lose or draw with Paris Saint-Germain on the evening.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Porto guaranteed their place in the last 16 of this season's Champions League with two games to spare. They currently sit top of Group A.
  • The Portuguese club's next win in this competition, or the Europa League, will be their 150th victory in Europe.
  • When Dinamo Zagreb faced Porto in the first group stage game of the season, the Croatian side had not lost in 33 matches - since December 2011. However, they were beaten 2-0 that night and have since lost in six of their last 13 matches.
  • Portistas' are unbeaten in all of their 16 competitive matches this season.
  • Defeat on Wednesday evening would extend Dinamo's record of consecutive group stage defeats to 10.
  • Portugal has not been a happy hunting ground for the Croatian side. On Wednesday night they will hope to score their first goal and register their first point in their sixth visit to the country.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 21, 2012 Porto 3 - Dinamo Zagreb 0
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  • Match Report
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Sep 18, 2012 Dinamo Zagreb 0 - Porto 2
  • Player Ratings
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1HeltonGoalkeeper
-DaniloDefender
-Eliaquim MangalaDefender
4Abdoulaye BaDefender
23Nicolás OtamendiDefender
8Lucho GonzálezMidfielder
-Joao MoutinhoMidfielder
10James RodríguezMidfielder
-Steven DefourMidfielder
-Jackson MartínezStriker
17Silvestre VarelaStriker
-FabianoGoalkeeper
-Miguel LopesDefender
-Alex SandroDefender
-André CastroMidfielder
25FernandoMidfielder
-KléberStriker
-Christian Twasam AtsuStriker
30Ivan KelavaGoalkeeper
4Josip SimunicDefender
14Sime VrsaljkoMidfielder
19Josip PivarićDefender
17Domagoj VidaDefender
6Arijan AdemiMidfielder
10Mateo KovačićMidfielder
10SammirMidfielder
77Marcelo BrozovićMidfielder
21Fatos BecirajStriker
90Duje CopStriker
33Romeo MitrovićGoalkeeper
2Ante PuljicDefender
16Adrián CalelloMidfielder
11Ivan TomecakMidfielder
20Mehmed AlispahićMidfielder
-Alen HalilovićMidfielder
99Ivan KrstanovićStriker
Players to Watch
Lucho González
Lucho González
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Lucho Gonzalez got on the scoresheet in the reverse of this fixture in September, tapping in to score the first goal of the game. His ability to dictate play from the middle of the park mark him out as one to watch and the visitors will have to pay particular attention to his bursts from midfield.
Sammir
Sammir
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The attacking midfielder has not enjoyed his best spell of form in recent months, but if his side are to get anything from this contest then he will have to be at his creative best. The Croatian side are yet to score in this season's competition, but the 25-year-old could be the man to end that dismal record if he can recapture his best form.
Prediction
Every single statistic points in Porto's favour. With the strikeforce that the hosts have at their disposal, an early flurry could ensue before the hosts sit back and see out the match with ease.
Editor's Prediction
Porto 3

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